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Speakers and organising committee of the International Seminar Egypopcult, January 2024

Our Researchers

Scientific Members

Principal investigator (PI)

Abraham I. Fernández Pichel studied Egyptology at the Université Lyon II – Louis Lumière (France) and received his doctorate from the Universität Tübingen (Germany). Since 2020 he has worked as a researcher and associate professor (Egyptology) at the Center for History of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Lisbon (Portugal). His main fields of study are Egyptian religion and the hieroglyphic inscriptions of Graeco-Roman temples, as well as the intersection of Egyptology and contemporary popular culture.

Research areas:

  • The figure of the monster in contemporary popular culture: Egyptian vampires and the mummy. 
  • Ancient Egypt in Role Playing Games.
  • Antiquity as a setting for Hollywood’s epic cinema: the unitary idea of ancient history.

Guillermo Juberías Gracia is Assistant lecturer and postdoctoral researcher at the Institute d’Études Politiques de Lyon (Université de Lyon).  He worked as a predoctoral researcher in the Department of Art History at the University of Zaragoza for the completion of a thesis on Spanish genre painting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He has carried out research stays at CSIC (Madrid), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Université Bordeaux Montaigne and Université de Toulouse Jean-Jaurès. Currently he continues his research on the influence of Goya on Spanish genre painting in the late nineteenth century, the construction of a national identity in painting and the connections between Spain and France at this period. He disseminates his research through books, articles in Spanish, German and French journals and he works in the team of different research projects such as Egypopcult (Universidade de Lisboa).

Research areas:

  • Reception of Ancient Egypt in 19th century painting.
  • Connections between 19th-century painting and cinema.
  • Antiquity revivals in 19th-century visual culture.

Eleanor Dobson is Associate Professor in Nineteenth-Century Literature at the University of Birmingham. She is the author of Victorian Alchemy: Science, Magic and Ancient Egypt (UCL Press, 2022) and Writing the Sphinx: Literature, Culture and Egyptology (Edinburgh University Press, 2020), and the editor of Victorian Literary Culture and Ancient Egypt (Manchester University Press, 2020).

Research areas:

  • Nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and film, and the history of Egyptology.
  • The Gothic, science fiction and the weird; magic and the supernatural; dreams and nightmares; curses.
  • Gender, sexuality, cross-dressing, and mummified remains.

Samuel Fernández-Pichel holds a PhD in Media Studies from Universidad de Sevilla. He has lectured in film and cultural studies at the International Center – Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Sevilla), EUSA – Universidad de Sevilla, and Universidad de Huelva. His work has been published in monographs, edited collections and journals. He is a member of the Cultural Theory and Studies research group (HUM409, Universidad de Huelva). His main areas of research are film studies, digital culture, and urban cultural studies.

Research areas:

  • Film and History.
  • The imaginary of Ancient Egypt in filmed travelogues.
  • Egyptophilia / Egyptomania on social media.

Tara Sewell-Lasater is the Director of First Year Seminar at Montana State University. She earned her PhD in ancient history from the University of Houston. Her research focuses on Ptolemaic queenship, including the roles royal women developed for themselves in administration and society. Specifically, she strives to address the misogynistic and simplistic stereotypes that have been applied to Ptolemaic queens in previous scholarship.

Research areas:

  • Ancient Women in History, especially Kleopatra VII and her sexualisation in media
  • Ancient Egypt in Video Games, especially the characterisation of Kleopatra as a femme fatale
  • Ancient Egyptian Queens in novels

Sara Woodward received her PhD from the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the representation of ancient Egypt in nineteenth-century literature, specifically looking at the ways in which ancient Egypt is used to explore religious anxieties.

José das Candeias Sales is Full Professor of History at the Universidade Aberta (Portugal). His areas of scientific interest are: mythology, religion and religiosity of the ancient Egyptians; Ideology, propaganda and legitimization of power in Pharaonic Egypt; urbanism, architecture and heritage recovery of Pharaonic Egypt; reception of ancient Egypt in popular culture.

He develops scientific research activities at the História da Universidade de Lisboa (GI “Usos do Passado”) and at the Centro de Estudos Globais da Universidade Aberta (GI “Memória Global: Temas e Abordagens”).

Research areas:

  • Egyptomania in Portugal. Paths of the reception of Ancient Egypt in a Portuguese framework.
  • The use of antiquity in contemporary popular culture.

Nuno Manuel Simões Rodrigues is Associate Professor at the University of Lisbon, Nuno Simões Rodrigues holds a PhD in Ancient History (Classics) and is a researcher at the Centre for History and the Centre for Classical Studies of the ULisboa and at the Centre for Classical and Humanistic Studies of the University of Coimbra. His main research areas are Greek Cultural History (Myth, Religion, Tragedy), Roman Political and Social History (End of Republic and Early Empire) and Reception Studies (Antiquity in Cinema). He published Mitos e Lendas da Roma Antiga (Lisbon, 2005), Identidade Romana e Contemporaneidade (Coimbra, 2023) and Mitología griega en el Cine (Madrid, 2021). He also published portuguese translations of Euripides (Alcestis and Iphigenia among the Taurians) and of Plutarch (Coriolanus). He is currently translating into portuguese Plutarch’s Life of Antony.

Filip Taterka is an assistant professor at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He received his PhD in 2018 at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, and Sorbonne University in Paris, France, with a thesis dedicated to the Egyptian expeditions to the land of Punt. His research interests encompass Egyptian ideology of kingship (particularly in the reign of Hatshepsut), Egyptian expeditions to the land of Punt, Egyptian cryptography, but also the presence of ancient Egypt in modern world.

Research areas:

  • Stereotypes about Ancient Egypt in popular culture.
  • Egyptian influences in Poland.
  • Egyptomania in products of popular culture addressed to younger recipients.
  • Reception of ancient Egypt in fantasy.

Rogério Sousa is Professor of Egyptology and Ancient History at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Lisbon and coordinates the Gate of the Priests Project aiming at the inventory and integrated study of the dispersed collection of antiquities found in the Tomb of the Priests of Amun (Bab el-Gasus) in Thebes.

Thomas Gamelin received his PhD in Egyptology from the University of Lille (France) and he is now a visitor member of the HALMA (Histoire, Archéologie, Littérature des Mondes Anciens) research centre. He is currently a teaching assistant at the same university, at the Catholic University of Lille and at the Catholic University of Paris. His research interests focus on the personality of deities, the rituals performed in temples, the decoration of these buildings and on comparative mythology.

Research areas:

  • The use of the pyramids in contemporary popular culture.
  • Ancient Egypt as inspiration for comics.


Alfonso Álvarez-Ossorio Rivas is a lecturer in Ancient History at the Universidad de Sevilla. He has devoted a significant part of his research to the reception of the classical past in present-day popular culture, especially fantasy novels, films and TV series. In this respect, he has edited the book The Present of Antiquity. Reception, Recovery, Reinvention of the Ancient World in Current Popular Culture (2019) and has organized the international conference ‘Game of Thrones.

Research areas:

  • The use of gamification and learning through games based on the reception of Antiquity in popular culture and its application in the teaching of Ancient History.
  • The reception of antiquity in sword-and-sorcery novels.
  • The recreation of Egypt in Conan the Barbarian novels and comics.
  • The reception of Antiquity in Heavy Metal and its evolution through time.

Marc Orriols-Llonch holds a PhD from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a degree in History from the Universitat de Barcelona. He is currently an adjunct lecturer at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he teaches Egyptology, and a temporary lecturer at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. His main research interest is gender studies in Egyptology, specifically sexual relations, ages, and masculinities. He is a member of the Institut d’Estudis del Pròxim Orient Antic and Tàcita Muta (Grup d’estudis de dones i gènere a l’Antiguitat). He has taken part in several archaeological projects in Egypt.

Leire Olabarria is a Lecturer in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham (UK). She holds a DPhil in Egyptology from the University of Oxford. Her main research areas include kinship and marriage, ritual landscapes, monumentality, the funerary archaeology of the Middle Kingdom, and the construction of Egyptological knowledge. She is also interested in the reception(s) of ancient Egypt in popular culture, having published on heavy metal music and counterfactual literature. With her colleague and fellow member of Egypopcult Project, Eleanor Dobson, she has co-organised two conferences exploring aspects of the reinterpretation and repackaging of ancient Egypt for modern audiences.

Research areas:

  •  Receptions of Ancient Egypt in heavy metal music.
  •  Ancient Egypt in counterfactual literature: constructing a place that never was.

Jean-Guillaume Olette-Pelletier holds a doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He specializes in ancient Egyptian gods and hieroglyphic cryptography, and is currently a lecturer in Pharaonic History and new technologies applied to archaeology at the Institut Catholique de Paris (ICP).

Research Fellow

Vitória Steff Rama studied History at the Faculty of Letters at the University of Lisbon, Portugal and is currently doing a MA in History and Cultures of Religions at the same institution. She is a research fellow for the Egypopcult project during 2023/2024.

Esperanza Macarena Ródenas Perea is a PhD student writing her dissertation on the image of the emperor in Roman Egypt at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville, Spain). She is interested in the cultural contacts between civilisations in Roman Egypt and in the reception of Ancient Egypt in videogames and comics. She is also creating her own webcomic on Ancient Egypt: The Followers of the Divine Snake.

Project Manager

Abraham I. Fernández Pichel


Abraham I. Fernández Pichel - Rogério Sousa - Eleanor Dobson - Filip Taterka - Guillermo Juberías Gracia - José das Candeias Sales
Nuno Simões Rodrigues - Samuel Fernández-Pichel - Sara Woodward - Tara Sewell-Lasater - Thomas Gamelin – Leire Olabarría
Alfonso Álvarez-Ossorio - Jean-Guillaume Olette-Pelletier - Marc Orriols-Llonch

Total Visitors: 19543
Today Visitors: 1

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The Egypopcult Project is hosted by the Center for History of the University of Lisbon.